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Hillel CEO Tells Swarthmore it Must Abide by Israel Guidelines to Use Umbrella’s Name

December 10, 2013 11:41 pm 1 comment

Eric Fingerhut, Hillel's president and CEO. Photo: Shahar Azran for Hillel.

JNS.orgEric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, wrote a letter to Hillel’s Swarthmore College chapter criticizing the decision by its student board to disavow the Jewish campus umbrella’s guidelines forbidding engagement with groups or speakers that “delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to Israel.”

“I hope you will inform your colleagues on the Student Board of Swarthmore Hillel that Hillel International expects all campus organizations that use the Hillel name to adhere to these guidelines. No organization that uses the Hillel name may choose to do otherwise,” Fingerhut wrote.

Fingerhut had told JNS.org last month, “There’s no question that Hillel loves Israel, Hillel is a pro-Israel organization, Hillel is about building Jewish identity… and at the core of Jewish identity is that Israel is the home of the Jewish people.”

The student board resolution, passed Sunday, said Swarthmore Hillel would “host and partner with any speaker at the discretion of the board, regardless of Hillel International’s Israel guidelines.” Swarthmore Hillel is aligning itself with the relatively new movement called “Open Hillel,” which calls for “inclusivity and open discourse at campus Hillels,” the Forward reported.

A report by NGO Monitor has shown a close relationship between the “Open Hillel” movement and Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that openly supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

“Open Hillel has become a willing participant in the strategic effort by anti-Israel activists to split Jews over Israel. It is the old stratagem of divide and conquer,” said Yitzhak Santis, NGO Monitor’s chief programs officer.

1 Comment

  • Jews are an unusual people. Politically they have always supported whatever is in the interest and well being of the general population. Persecuted and used as scapegoats by the powerful, supported by the naïve, ignorant and cruel, despite their small number they have made the greatest contribution in every field for the welfare of others. Anti Israel activists have naively fallen for Islamist anti Jewish propaganda with a Nazi twist. They do so at the peril of Israel and the Jewish population. I too want to see peace with the Palestine/Arab people, but their leadership have to renounce hatred of Jews and their goal of annihilation. Wake up Hillel.

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